Electricity networks to ‘fuel’ new wave of electric vehicles in Australia

Today’s release of a National Electric Vehicle Strategy brings a welcome national focus to a fundamental issue for customers and the grid, Energy Networks Australia Acting CEO Garth Crawford said today.  

A critical next step was the adoption of consistent policies to ensure mass adoption of EVs could occur in a way that maximised benefits to customers while ensuring the grid could cope with the additional demand. 

Mr Crawford said if charging behaviours were properly managed to avoid adding too much additional load to peak grid demand, then EVs could help drive down electricity bills.  

“Electricity networks are built and paid for through household and business energy bills to meet demand at peak times,” he said. 

“Mass adoption of EVs will be a major new load on the power system that will significantly increase this demand unless we effectively manage how vehicles are charged. 

“For cost savings and grid benefits to customers to be maximised, we need smart EV charging and pricing reform. This would encourage and reward efficient charging behaviour and provide flexible electricity pricing for customers to make power supply cheaper when it is plentiful – for example during the day to soak up solar generation.” 

Mr Crawford said the right policy settings would avoid the need for more expensive upgrades of electricity infrastructure and deliver major savings for customers on household energy bills while supporting grid security and reliability. 

“Energy networks are a critical enabler of the uptake of EV’s. They offer exciting opportunities for customers, the environment and power system support.  

“Networks throughout the country are operating innovative programs to support customer EV uptake and the electricity grid, including several trials examining how to best manage home EV charging while maintaining grid stability. 

“A National EV Strategy is a welcome development, and we look forward to engaging further with the Commonwealth and state governments about the policy settings needed to ensure the benefits are maximised as uptake increases.” 

Read a copy of ENA’s submission to the National EV Strategy Consultation here. 

Media Contact: Jordan Oliver | 0435 855 620 | joliver@energynetworks.com.au  

Energy Networks Australia is the national industry body representing Australia’s electricity transmission and distribution and gas distribution networks. Our members provide more than 16 million electricity and gas connections to almost every home and business across Australia.